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IMA's Supply Chain

In the choice of suppliers, IMA guarantees absolute impartiality and undertakes to comply strictly with the agreed terms of payment (all purchases have always been regulated according to the agreements). In particular, production-related suppliers are also selected on the basis of a criterion of “proximity” which favours, among other things, partner companies in product innovation that operate in the local production cluster.

During the course of its history in the industry, IMA has always worked to ensure that its production could be a means of generating a positive social impact on the local territory.

IMA’s suppliers have to have a high level of quality and sustainability: to increase the added value of its offer, IMA, on the one hand, uses selected partners and suppliers, actively involving them in the processes of designing, manufacturing and assembling the machines; and on the other, monitors along the entire chain the high quality standards and technical and regulatory requirements that have to be met. The goal is to share rigorous methods and standards so that the successes can be shared as well.



IMA’s approach to the supply chain has always been innovative, developing over time an unconventional model.

The scheme based on a win-win partnership approach has evolved with IMA’s participation in the share capital of its most strategic suppliers, allowing IMA to cope better with the recent challenges related to growth: this model, which is perfectly consistent with the logic of Industry 4.0, provides support throughout the Supply Chain for investing in new machinery and production tools and in the organizational and IT development typical of this new industrial revolution. In particular, IMA is working along three guidelines with its most important suppliers:

  • dematerialization;
  • control of production scheduling;
  • 3D and Additive Manufacturing.

All this translates into projects that are already operational, ranging from the implementation of an integrated ERP system that also covers the supply chain (online tools for the receipt of purchase orders and engineering drawings), to collaboration on Additive Manufacturing projects, that will completely innovate design and construction methods for automated machine components.

The objective in the coming years is to further increase the collaborative logic between client and supply chain. By way of a confirmation of this objective, in 2019 there was a further increase in strategic suppliers partially owned by IMA and a further pilot project was implemented to extend the order management IT platform to one of them, with a view to integrating and streamlining the various levels of manufacturing processes of IMA’s own Supply Chain.



Many of the strong contacts established by IMA in recent years are within its own industrial cluster, above all in Italy. These relationships sometimes take the form of minority investments (up to 30% of the share capital) in certain subcontractors. These investments serve to support the network of small local businesses, an active part of the process of innovation promoted by IMA: they are financial and strategic interventions, which strengthen the cohesion of the production system and integrate the innovative potential of local players.

IMA works with different types of suppliers; the main ones include:

manufacturers of components for the production of machines, which in turn are divided into:

o custom-designed component suppliers, supplying components on the basis of drawings and projects prepared by IMA;

o catalogue component (“commercial”) suppliers, who provide components that are available in manufacturers’ catalogues;

project suppliers, for goods and services closely related to customers’ projects, such as assembly, design, third-party machinery;

other suppliers (so-called non-manufacturing suppliers).

Considering the purchases made in 2019 by the main IMA companies based in Italy and in the rest of the world, without calculating the costs incurred for VAT, customs, employees, vehicles and agents, the sales revenue paid to third parties amounted to more than 1 billion euros: almost 90% of this amount went to local suppliers5. At regional level, the amount for Italy was 93.7%, for Europe 51.08%, for the Americas 85.55% and for Asia 88.53%. These figures demonstrate the value created by IMA for its territory and the local production cluster.

The best companies with which IMA works are in fact rewarded by remaining partners for several years, allowing them to capitalize on the investments they have made in production technologies. The low “rate of change/replacement” is therefore the salient feature of the relationship between IMA and its suppliers. In this way IMA establishes preferential relationships based on the duration of the collaboration and on mutual loyalty.